Signed up with ‘Fess Up Friday

1264 words today.

I finally found ‘Fess Up Friday on the Literate Kitten’s site, where I had to go back to 04 May archive to understand why so many people seem to be posting about writing (more than I have) on Fridays.

Sounds like a great idea & I’ll try anything to get me out of this re-start/dump/re-start/dump cycle.

Of course, having signed on, I did NOTHING at all towards the mystery novel (except read on line how the people at Harper Collins think mysteries are out of fashion & don’t sell so they won’t buy them)

But I did walk two lovely doggies–Macho is one of those who shits only outside, so he did 6 poops on our walk but he is such an absolute gentle angel.
And tiny little Mickey, newly out of quarantine & so terrified by all the noise the other dogs were making that he was trembling. He’s a tiny little handful of a Yorkshire terrier, I swear not more than 12 inches long… but so sweet once he got out to the sun & grass & could snuffle around a bit.
Ellen says he was probably someone’s ‘purse dog’ because he doesn’t seem very familiar with walking. He keeps trying to get you to pick him up instead!

Oh, but I was talking about my non-writing yesterday. I mean to, really–but then I had to type up the interview notes for the polishing up of a Eusoff interview–okay, got that done & sent in… & then it was time for the MICA sponsored focus group on whether or not ‘Creative Freelancers’ need some kind of body representing them. The idea seems to be to lump all conceivable freelancers together–yesterday they had reps who write/graphic design/act/sing/photograph… and what is a creative freelancer anyway? I may write plays & stories ‘creatively’ but most of my freelancing $$ comes from very ‘uncreative’ sources–instruction manuals/annual summaries/brochures.
And are buskers creative freelancers?

But it’s a good intention I guess.
I put my big in for a virtual set up, where potential employers could post jobs rather than depending on the who-knows-someone-who-might-have-a contact-system but some of the others want to have regular meetings & even a common working space… if that turns out to be the way it goes down I guess I won’t be part of it. One thing I’ve learned about myself is I’m no good at being part of a group!
(especially when they were talking about defining goals/roles & rates. I don’t wanna be paid a standardized fee… I wanna be paid More!!)

Anyway, that was yesterday gone. Today… I threw out all previous writing (yes, again) but got 1264 words down.
And I will stick to this because I’ve got to post it on Friday… (I know–we’ll see)

Bright spark: NTU asked for permission to print 3 Fat Virgins in a book on Singapore Literature–said ‘yes’ with glee, only asking them to mention Theatreworks as ‘first performed by’ which they said they’d be happy to do.

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6 Responses

  1. Glad you are on board. Somehow, must find a less cumbersome way of having people join up. If I ever get two seconds to think…!

    Namaste!

  2. Nancy Mitford? The best books to start with are 1) The Pursuit of Love and 2) Love in a Cold Climate. Never mind (unless you come to adore her as I do) the earlier books like Pigeon Pie & Highland Fling but possibly move on to 3) The Blessing & 4) Don’t Tell Alfred.

    But perhaps if you have a food inclination Love In A Cold Climate because of the incredible food descriptions at the Hamptons… but then again Pursuit of Love has incredible descriptions of Juan replenishing their war time larder…

    example of stuff you get in there (might be misquoting, sorry but roughly…) Lady Montdore (noted for her snobbishness & stuff like ‘buy a good coat but don’t spend money on underwear) griping to her sis-in-law about her daughter “So beautiful and absolutely no BA”
    “SA” said Lady Patricia faintly “Or BO,”

  3. If I can help, that’s great. Knowing how the industry works will prove useful when your book is out there and you need to do the marketing, promotion and stuff. But the market can be fickle.

    Maybe the most important for a writer to do is just to write the best book you can, and then hope for the best.

    Hope your writing’s moving along – without having to contribute too much into the “toss” pile.

    I’ve heard so much about the famous Mitford sisters – but never found the time to read anything by Nancy Mitford though. So many books, so little time… always thought they should carve “She left many books unread” on my gravestone.

    Any recommendation on where to start on Mitford? After Nancy I totally intend to go after “Hons and Rebels” by Jessica Mitford.

  4. Hi Darkorph, thanks VERY MUCH for your ‘rant’! Very encouragin actually. No, I had no idea how the actual buying/selling of books went. And yes, I love Agatha Christie–not even for the murders but the details & characters… (aside: have you read Nancy Mitford? Another great love of mine). I got the Harper Collins quote off a writers’ advice page… thought I better learn something practical about publishing but actually you’ve presented the picture much more clearly!

    Thank you Gartenfische, just for mentioning me in the same sentence as Flannery O’Connor! No, we’re neither of us Flannerys yet but we can start by throwing out more stuff…

  5. Sounds like the writing is going well. You are an inspiration to me. I feel a little overwhelmed and intimidated lately. If I threw out all of something I’d been working on, would I feel confident enough to start over? I hope so. I’m reading Flannery O’Connor’s letters (The Habit of Being) and some of your comments remind me of her. She threw out stuff all the time. And kept at it. (Of course, I’m no F. O’Connor!)

    Congrats on your play being selected for the book!

  6. Hahaha. You just reminded me that I never linked back to LK’s site for my ‘Fess Up Fridays. Well, welcome to the fray. I scratch my head every Thursday evenings on what to post for ‘Fess Up Fridays.

    But, a vein started throbbing at my temple when you mentioned HarperCollins and mystery novel. Sorry, I’m going to rant.

    I wouldn’t put too much credit into what HarperCollins says about mysteries not selling. Maybe they should be looking at the types of books they are buying instead – OJ Simpson? Hello…

    I was the fiction buyer for a bookstore for over 5 years before I switched to lifestyle books. (I love fiction – but it can get boring ordering a new John Grisham every year. And ordering all those copies of The Da Vinci Code – which I depise – makes me feel dirty.)

    From what I know of the market trend – people still continue to buy mysteries – even in Singapore. But it’s also a very competitive market with a lot of new writers trying to break in. You should see the massive mystery/thriller frontlist every year.

    With so many new titles, a lot of mystery readers are overwhelmed – so they often stick with what is proven and comfortable – the established names: Ruth Rendell, Ian Rankin, Agatha Christie, Jeffrey Deaver — and James Patterson. Yuck. Patterson has like 5 new titles (probably ghost-written) in a year. Occasionally they might read a good review on a new book, then they pick up a new author.

    And people are still reading Agatha Christie. If anything is old fashion – it’s Christie. But she still sells. In fact, she’s one of HarperCollins’ most consistent backlist authors. That’s why every now and then Harper rejackets her books to “refresh” her appeal.

    Books, like all products in a competitive market, needs to catch the consumer’s attention. Often, to sell a story, a writer has to sell with a “gimmick” – lost manuscript of Shakespeare, an exotic locale like Istanbul, Iceland or Rome – stuff like that.

    But a lot of publishers are also lazy. Instead of investing in quality writers, they go for flavour of the month – an author to give them the quick-buck before they fall off the bestseller charts. For a while, there were all these Dan Brown conspiracy rip-offs. People were buying these – then they stopped. And then the publishers start crying that mysteries don’t sell anymore.

    What the publishers mean by not selling, is that it’s harder to find the Mega Star Authors these days. Instead of being able to sell millions of copies of one title, the publishers have to work harder to sell less copies and more titles. This means investing more on marketing, which cuts into profit margins.

    So if a mystery novel is what you want to work on – there is still a market out there – but it’s a tough one. Be very prepared.

    Just a slightly off-topic mention–You might already know about Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind: http://www.sarahweinman.com/

    If you look through the site – it has great coverage on crime fiction. If they are not selling, there wouldn’t be so many good stuff out there.

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